The past one year has seen the Catholic world stressing on the need for all to be merciful to each other, even as God our Father is always merciful to us. It all started last year April, when the Holy Father Pope Francis declared December 8, 2015 to November 20, 2016 as an extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. By that pronouncement, the pope called on the world to make extra effort to be more merciful in all they do. The need for mercy is not limited to Christendom alone. Indeed, every man and woman, irrespective of the religion they profess, is called to partake of Goda��s mercy and extend same to their fellowmen.
We cannot out-do Almighty God in dispensing mercy. Were it not for Goda��s mercy upon us his children, I wonder whether anyone would still be left on planet Earth. It was Goda��s mercy that made Him to send Jesus Christ to earth to die in atonement for our sins. It is His mercy that led Him to give the Church the power to forgive sin through the sacrament of reconciliation. It is the mercy of God and intercession of His Son and those of the saints, including the Virgin Mary that has refrained God from unleashing His wrath on us. Who can stand the judgment of a just God? Who can stand in His presence blameless? None, but for the mercy and grace of the Almighty!
And so, at the Vatican City and in all Catholic Church across the world, the Year of Mercy is being rounded off. But does that mean that the Door of Mercy has been closed in the sense of the world? No. The mercy of God never ceases. It flows out every day for those willing to partake of it. God never stops to draw us to Himself. He is love personified through His Son Jesus Christ, Who is the face of Goda��s mercy. Dona��t say your sins are too many for God to forgive. Dona��t say your case is beyond remedy. God is a merciful Father.
And for us as a nation, let us make mercy a way of life. In governance, our schools and offices, let us stress the need to forgive one another, even as God is always forgiving us. When we imbibe the culture of mercy, love would flow and peace would flourish. Let us do away with all forms of vendetta. Using force to quell force is never the solution. When a hot iron is placed inside an ice, it will surely grow cold. So also, mercy is the remedy for all forms of strife.
My prayer today is that the mercy of God, which has no limit, will continue to permeate our lives, and that each of us will make the extra effort to imbibe this wonderful culture of mercy that heals all hurts. Amen.
a�� Very Rev. Msgr. Osu, Director, Social Communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos.